This Poet Swimming Laps
The early sun peeks through the cloud bank
“Thank God it might warm up the water”
The light sparkles on the ripples
that the jets shoot across the pool.
They twist in sinewy sea serpent shapes,
while my forearms cover themselves in bumps…
“Oh My God….. it’s so cold”
But I’m in the water up to my neck now,
determined to swim that mile.
Confident that 10 laps make 120 meters
100 laps will bring me to the mile.
The breaststroke is a nice beginning
The heart just kicks in little by little..
I hardly feel a thing..
The water is so clear,
I could count the little Moroccan tiles
the color of a Tangier mosque design,
if I open my eyes, but I just peek now and then.
I don’t have to see where I’m going…I know
9 strokes take me to the other side.
I just count 1 -2 -3..the other side is odd where I start is always even…
odd and even, I start thinking about odds..
What are the odds?…
I saw a colony of Leaf Cutter Ants
carrying leaves along the border of the pool..the odd side
where ants march daringly,
right on the border, I mean what are the odds?
I would see them a year from now..
what are the odds I’ll still be alive?
I allow myself to rest 5 seconds for observing but only after
9 on the odd side where the ants march
“Some are such slouchers,they carry tiny flowers,
while others haul leaves the size of a house”
5 seconds are up..one more breaststroke..10 laps equal 120 meters
I will be 1/10 through… and it seems a long way off!
I’m feeling good and turn it on with a fast long stroked crawl..
free stroking, reaching for the other side,
my mouth barely surfacing on the left,
two long strokes… now right..hauling in the oxygen
while skimming the surface, half my chin submerged.
Light and water were made to play togethe,and
I am streaking undulation ..up for air, down for speed..
but so imperceptibly…
you just see me glide silently/
600 meters and I’m on my back..long back stroke,
hoping my shoulders hold;
the sun plays orange and red fire on my eyelids.
The trees branches cut the light, adding their shadow but just on one side.
I think of 20 things that must be done…
My mind falls into shopping lists and unanswered emails
but I also ponder if dead people visit swimmers?
because we are so spaced..
in that zone that dreamers and mediums go to..
7- 8 on the boring even side..then back to 9 and I know the ants are there..
but I turn under water and pretend I don’t.
Another 10 and I cheat with a side stroke.. then back to the crawl..my heart is a locomotive…
It’s a Swiss time piece;
its a Grandfather clock-click with the rhythm of a teen.
and it only chimes at 1200 meters.!!
Cold? There is no cold.
I am warm and I heat the water as I move through it..
I am like an electric piston, and a watermill,..
a solar heating system with my arms going round and round.
1000 meters I am almost there..just 20 laps,
I have lost my sense of time..just lost in this stream of thoughts
of strokes of everything,
on spinal chord remote…
my brain shut down to just pump blood to those shoulders these arms stronger but straining.
Now… I am on the last stretch,
a quick change -up and I finish on 2 laps of the fastest crawl I can do..
my heart is pumping pumping, pumping….
“I can do it I can do it I will do it”
I throw my self backwards..and float and say,
“Alhamdulillah for this day”
“Alhamdulillah for this pool,
“Alhamdulillah for my health”
“Alhamdulillah for my Life”
that I am able to swim ….
and the light dances on my eyelids..
and the endorphins swim up and down my bloodstream
and I am so grateful!!
and then, I pull myself out of the pool..
Earth’s gravity is not my friend..
and grab my cane.
I might limp the next 30 meters to my shower.
I just swam one glorious mile!🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️
July 27, 2021